Lauralee Grauman learns meth and schmucks make a terrible combination
When Lauralee Grauman last appeared in our Schmuck of the Week archive, back in October 2012, shortly after she was busted in Canon City following a cross-country crime spree, she was a supporting player rather than a star.
But this time around, we're promoting Grauman, who was recently sentenced for her part in the craziness. Why? Due to her way-too-late realization that smoking meth, and hanging out with people doing the same, can lead to a lot of stupid decisions.
In September 2012, as we reported, Bradshaw, then 23, and Kenneth Grauman II, 32, slipped away from the Lake County Residential Re-Entry facility, a minimum-security joint in Michigan. They subsequently hooked up with their respective gal pals -- Lauralee, Bradshaw's significant other (and Kenneth's cousin), and Brittany Rector, Grauman's seventeen-year-old squeeze -- and hit the road.
Their path was bumpy, as documented in this timeline offered up by MLive.com:
Saturday -- Escape from the Lake County Residential Re-Entry Program near Baldwin.
Sunday -- Fugitives in a stolen minivan lead police on high-speed U.S. 131 chase south, crash into bean field near Sand Lake and elude a police perimeter at 22 Mile Road and Whitefish Road at 3 a.m.
Monday -- Police spot stolen green Jeep from Sand Lake area in Dorr area and try to pursue. Jeep eludes police in fields, then abandoned by fugitives who again managed to escape intensive perimeter search.
Tuesday -- Fugitives allegedly break-into 22nd Street home in Dorr and steal two handguns, food and clean up.
Wednesday -- Another 22nd Street homeowner in Dorr reports a home break-in and his white Ford Taurus being stolen in the afternoon. Witnesses spot fugitives and police again set up perimeter, but they manage to escape.
Thursday -- Kokomo, Indiana police officer spots suspicious white Ford Taurus entering Kroger store parking lot and begins to run the plate number on his computer, but gets called to another incident. Surveillance video captures fugitives leaving store on foot.
Thursday afternoon -- Fugitives reportedly steal farmer's pickup truck parked along Kokomo road, with two rifles stored in a back toolbox.
Given all these close encounters with cops, it only makes sense that they left Michigan. But they chose as their destination Canon City, arguably the prison capital of these United States.
Why? After her arrest, Laurlee told Michigan's WOOD-TV that her sister had lived there once and she considered it a nice place. Moreover, the fugitives had some friends there -- of the Facebook variety.
When the quartet reached out to these cyber-acquaintances, though, they received no response. But instead of heading back to the highway, they set up residence in a Canon City motel and put together the gear to cook up some fresh methamphetamine.
Shockingly enough, this turned out to be the wrong move.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado, the U.S. Marshals' Fugitive Task Force, assisted by local and state law-enforcement agencies in Michigan, conducted a joint fugitive investigation that led them to conclude the four were in our fair state. That info was then forwarded to marshals in Colorado, who coordinated with the Fremont County Sheriff's Department and the Canon City Police Department.
Cut to about 5 p.m. on October 11, when law enforcers spotted the quartet at the motel. Shortly thereafter, a SWAT team from Pueblo swooped in and picked up the group without incident.
By the time Lauralee sat down with that WOOD-TV reporter, while in custody a day or so later, she'd come to the conclusion that meth may not have done her any favors.
"This is the devil drug, just like my mom told me," she said.
According to Lauralee, the whole group had been mething it up from the beginning of their journey, and the stuff didn't exactly turn escapees Greg and Kenneth into sweethearts. She recalled Rector saying at one point, "Run, Laura, run!" -- but she didn't, because "I was afraid they'd kill me."
Indeed, she told the reporter, she was relieved when they were captured. In her words, "I feel like if the cops hadn't caught us, I'd be going home in a body bag."
Nearly a year later, Lauralee was reportedly sentenced to eleven months in jail, three years of probation and more than $6,000 in fines and the like. As for her compatriots, Bradshaw and Kenneth Grauman were handed eighteen year sentences, while Rector will be doing a year.
Did the meth make Lauralee do it? Well, it didn't exactly cause her moral compass to point toward true north. After using, she told WOOD-TV, "right or wrong don't matter."
But schmuckiness certainly does. Here's a larger look at her booking photo.
More from our Schmuck of the Week archive: "Henry Kunter makes a schmuck out of his dad over embezzlement scheme."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.